Tuesday, December 6, 1864

Ogeechee Church, Georgia
Kilpatrick needs replacement horses. We will collect them from our other units to send to him.

HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Ogeechee Church, GA

I. Each army corps commander will, on the receipt of this order, collect from his command 100 horses, the best adapted to cavalry uses, together with a sufficient number of mounted negroes to lead them, and dispatch them to General Slocum’s headquarters, for delivery to the cavalry command of General Kilpatrick. General Slocum’s command is at this moment near the intersection of the road running through Statesborough and Armenia to Halley’s Ferry, on the Savannah River, about six miles north of Ogeechee Church, and will march by the middle road toward Springfield.

II. The officer charged with these horses will be instructed to deliver them to any officer whom General Kilpatrick may appoint to receive them.

By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

Howard Writes:

Two divisions of the Fifteenth Corps (First and Fourth) are nearly opposite Station Numbers 3, and the other two divisions are about four or five miles distant and abreast of us, on the direct road from Statesborough to Eden Station. Reconnaissances are being made today toward Wright’s Bridge and the bridge to Eden Station, and both of them will be secured, if possible. Preparations were being made last night to cross the river near Station Numbers 3, but when I learned that they, the enemy, had left Ogeechee Church, I did not deem it necessary to lay the pontoon bridge. I shall be ready to move forward with this command when General Blair leaves Ogeechee Church. I agree with you that Eden Station is the point to be made now, and it may be necessary to cross still lower down, as I learn the enemy intends to make a stand at that place.

Lieutenant Harvey, who was sent over last night with a select party to strike the Gulf railroad, found the bridges across the Cannouchee all burned and the approaches strongly guarded by rebel cavalry, and was compelled to return without accomplishing his object. Another party has been sent out to strike for a point still higher up, but I am fearful that they will find all the approaches well guarded, and that they will not succeed in crossing the river. As soon as I reach Eden Station, I will make a strong demonstration of infantry toward the Cannouchee, sufficient to enable me to cross a party and strike the road.

I Reply To Howard:
Your dispatch of today is just received. Reports from General Slocum and General Kilpatrick have also been received. The former will camp tonight on Turkey Creek, in advance of this column, with his command well closed up. The latter attacked Wheeler near Thomas’ Station, and drove him through Waynesborough and across Brier Creek in confusion, killing and wounded a number and capturing 100 of his men; he also burned all the bridges on Brier Creek, including (for good) the railroad bridge. Tomorrow the entire army will move, General Slocum’s left reaching Ebenezer; himself, Springfield; and the Seventeenth Corps, Guyton. I desire you, in conjunction, to reach Eden, opposite Numbers 2, and while General Blair threatens Numbers 2 by moving on Numbers 3 (Guyton), to effect a crossing at or below Numbers 2.

I write to Blair:
The army being now in position ready for farther movements, I direct that you move your command tomorrow morning, on the Savannah road, via Guyton, and leaving Eden(Numbers 2) to your right, as rapidly as you may wish to march. I will accompany your column, and if occasion requires will modify these orders.

Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Commanding Military Division of the Mississippi:
On the arrival of the bridge at this point, Captain Reese, finding the enemy on the other shore, threw over a regiment of Hazen’s division in boats and cleared the way. The bridge was immediately laid, and a brigade of General Corse’s division, General Rice commanding, pushed on further orders. I shall push both columns forward as rapidly as possible, encamping the Twentieth Corps tonight near Turkey Creek, and tomorrow night at Springfield. Both columns are in good condition, and can be pushed forward as rapidly as you think proper.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. SLOCUM, Major-General

Major-General SLOCUM, Commanding Left Wing:
Your dispatch of 7 a. m. is received. General Kilpatrick has also reported his operations. The General-in-chief desires you to rather decrease your rate of movement of the Twentieth Corps than to push it, in order to let Davis get up abreast of it. He will put the Seventeenth Corps in motion to-morrow, and it will reach to the vicinity of Guyton (Numbers 3); you will be able to follow its progress by the smokes. General Howard will move by the road south of the river to Eden (Numbers 2), and probably cross there. The general will move with General Blair. There is no news worth reporting, save the general feels convinced that the Charleston road is broken. Citizens report our fleet off Savannah, sending up rockets nightly, so it is on the watch for us.
I am, General, yours, respectfully,
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

Captain L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp:
I have the honor to inform you that the Twentieth Corps is on the march, and getting on finely. The head of the column is now thirteen miles from Springfield. We shall camp tonight near Turkey Creek and tomorrow beyond Springfield as far as possible. Generals Davis and Kilpatrick are well up on our left. Please indicate what road I shall take after reaching Springfield. I sent you a communication at 8 a. m. to-day, giving particulars of Kilpatrick’s fight and positions of all of this wing. Kilpatrick was successful; and everything is moving on finely.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. SLOCUM, Major-General

HEADQUARTERS MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Ogeechee Church, December 6, 1864. 3:30 p. m.
Major-General SLOCUM, Commanding Left Wing:
Your dispatch of 1:30 p. m. is just received, as also yours of 7 a.m., which was answered. The general is pleased at the progress of General Davis, but not knowing where he was, it compelled the halting of this column here to close up. Tomorrow the General-in-chief expects General Howard to be at Eden (Numbers 2), General Blair at Guyton, and if General Davis’ head of column reaches Ebenezer, and can lay a bridge over that creek, it will answer. He wishes you not to pass Springfield, but from there to communicate with him at Guyton; but in the absence of orders, the movement for the day following should be such as to place General Davis at or in advance of Saint Augustine Creek, and the column you are with at or near Monteith. General Blair will be at Eden (Numbers 2), and Howard will cross the river.
I am, General, yours, respectfully,
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

In the Field, Numbers 4 1/2, Ogeechee Church, December 6, 1864.
General KILPATRICK, Commanding Cavalry:

Your report of December 5 has been received, and gives the General-in-chief great satisfaction. He begs you to convey to your command his thanks for their gallant and valuable services in driving the enemy in confusion from beyond Brier Creek, and in destroying those bridges, so useful to the enemy. At your suggestion, he has ordered each army corps commander to select from his command 100 cavalry horses, with a sufficient number of negroes to lead them, and to conduct them for your use to General Slocum’s column, which is now on the middle Savannah road, where it crossed the Statesborough and Halley’s Ferry road. A copy of that order is inclosed, and you can adopt your own course to secure them. You may always rely upon the general for cavalry horses, as, in order to keep you will mounted, he will dismount every person connected with the infantry not necessary for its efficient service, and take team horses, even if the wagons and contents have to be burned.

On this flank matters have moved smoothly, and we are a good distance in advance are lying by for General Davis and yourself to get up abreast. General Howard is now near Branhan’s Store, west of the Ogeechee, abreast of Springfield. General Blair is here at Ogeechee Church, where McLaws with about 5,000 men had prepared quite an extensive line of intrenchments, but Howard’s movement outflanked him, and he quit without a fight, and is now supposed to be at Eden (Numbers 2).

General Slocum is about six miles north of Ogeechee Church, waiting for General Davis to get up abreast on the Halley’s Ferry road. As soon as all are up we will move on Savannah by the four main roads from Branhan’s Store, Ogeechee Church, Springfield, and the Savannah River road. As Wheeler is disposed on you right, for the sake of forage, divide your command, coming together, say, about Monteith. We find a great deal of forage, but presume our infantry trains consume it all; still, they do not seem to know that rice in the straw, fed in moderation, is a most excellent forage; and you can taken advantage of it, as you will find an abundance along the Savannah and Ogeechee Rivers. As you come down make a good deal of smoke and fuss about Halley’s (now Hutchinson’s) Ferry and Sister’s Ferry, as though threatening to cross into South Carolina, and should Ebenezer Creek be up, send word to General Davis to leave his bridge down until you are across. No news from the outside world of any interest; but the fleet is known to be watching for us, as the citizens report it sending up rockets every night.
I am, General, with much regard.
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp


I take great pleasure in tendering the thanks of the General-in-chief, expressed in official communications* of to-day, to the gallant officers and men of my command for the brilliant cavalry action and victory at Waynesborough. He desires me to thank you for this victory over superior numbers, and for the invaluable service rendered, assuring you that he will see that the command is well mounted, if he has to take horses from the infantry teams and burn the wagons and contents. Soldiers! You have won the admiration of the united Army of the Union, now sweeping onward to victory, and the respect and thanks of the great Sherman. Soldiers! I congratulate; I am proud to command you.
By order of Brigadier-General Kilpatrick:
L. G. ESTES, Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General

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